Make way for the Enlightened Moderate

Enlightened Blackmail General Pervez Musharraf has authored an op-ed piece in the Washington Post enunciating his strategy of ‘Enlightened Moderation’ My idea for untangling this knot is Enlightened Moderation, which I think is a win for all — for both the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. It is a two-pronged strategy. The first part is for … Continue reading “Make way for the Enlightened Moderate”

On freedom of religion

The only restrictions to propagation of faith are force and fraud. The last few months have seen the return of religion-related issues into the public discourse. While many of these issues have existed on the agenda of religious-political organisations for decades, their contemporary emergence might has been triggered by electoral calculations and a new public … Continue reading “On freedom of religion”

To escape the tyranny of the ignorant

Why education must outpace population growth How do societies become enlightened? If they are under authoritarian rule, a small elite can impose values of the broader population. Sometimes authoritarians—or leaders with personal charisma and political power—promote enlightenment values: Peter the Great and Kemal Ataturk, for instance, used political power to push liberal values into their … Continue reading “To escape the tyranny of the ignorant”

Lifting the AFSPA, by the numbers

The case for a step-by-step lifting of AFSPA from Jammu & Kashmir (My op-ed in the Indian Express) If war is politics by other means, counter-insurgency is even more so. Since the early 1990s, the national endeavour in Jammu & Kashmir has involved three battles: a military contest to crush jihadi militants by force, a … Continue reading “Lifting the AFSPA, by the numbers”

Let’s Organise Indians for a Strong Republic

Join us on Facebook The people around Anna Hazare in Ramlila Maidan have injected a dangerous element into the Indian polity that presents a threat to India’s national interest. This is a Facebook page for people who believe in preserving and strengthening our democratic republic, regardless of political views or ideological persuasions. About Defending the … Continue reading “Let’s Organise Indians for a Strong Republic”

Against Jan Lok Pal and the politics of hunger strikes

Tackling corruption requires economic reforms and a popular re-engagement with electoral politics The idea of a Jan Lok Pal is flawed and profoundly misunderstands the causes and solutions of corruption in India. It seeks to create another chunk of government, more processes and rules, to solve a problem that, in part, exists because of too … Continue reading “Against Jan Lok Pal and the politics of hunger strikes”

Who says nationalism must be intolerant?

Nationalism merely expresses the civilisational values of the nation Waldemar Hanasz’s “Toward Global Citizenship?”, one of the readings prescribed for next week’s Liberty Fund Colloquium at Neemrana, organised by Centre for Civil Society, says “contemporary republications realise that today the only form of passionate patriotism is nationalism, which is often incompatible with toleration and pluralism.” … Continue reading “Who says nationalism must be intolerant?”

More makers of modern India

Rajadhyaksha’s review of Guha’s book Niranjan Rajadhyaksha has a fine review of Ramachandra Guha’s “Makers of Modern India” in Mint. Reading through the selections of the 19 makers of modern India, one is struck by the sheer diversity of concerns that gripped their minds—the gradual reformism of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the militant populism of Bal … Continue reading “More makers of modern India”

Khuda Hafiz Pakistan

Walls are better than bridges Nirupama Subramanian, The Hindu’s outgoing Islamabad correspondent, files her last report from the country (well actually, city) she covered for the last four years. Indians and Pakistanis, she concludes: “cannot be friends as long as we continue looking at each other through the narrow prism of our respective states. Pakistanis … Continue reading “Khuda Hafiz Pakistan”